Rice Lake (WQOW) – It’s been a fun few days at the Rice Lake Charity Celebrity Classic and Walk. The events started on Tuesday with a family fitness fest, and wrapped up Thursday at the Turtleback Golf Course.
Mother nature though crashed the part, as golfers were only able to get one hole in before storms moved everything inside. But the main goal of the day was to raise money for Rice Lake area youth organizations, and that was accomplished.
“I know how important it is to help people. And with this town, as many helping hands that are out there to help, make a difference,” says Harry Sydney, former Packers running back . “The Alumni Association talked to me about it, and I said I’ll go up there. I like to travel, I live in Green Bay, and I love playing golf. It’s a fun place to go, a different course, and you meet different people. We just try to help out as much as we can.”
The participants are definitely making a difference. In the past four years, the event has brought in over $400,000 for different charities. Their’s always plenty of local celebrities on hand, and they’re excited to join in on the fun.
“My wife is from here, she went to Spooner High School,” says Daniel Whitney, who’s also known as “Larry the Cable Guy.” They told me about it, and I said I wanted to play in this. Now they make sure to call me so I know when it is. It’s just a lot of fun, I love this. You know I get to play all these cool courses across the country, and they have no idea what they have here in Rice Lake with this course. It really is a treasure, just like me. Peaceful, manicured and very, very pretty.”
Even though the rain halted the golfing, it meant more eating, drinking and socializing indoors. What the weather did not do though, was take away from the generous donations.
“To raise $100,000 every year has just been super, and we’re going to go over the $500,000 mark,” says Tom Koser, President of the Rice Lake Charity Celebrity Classic. “A half-million dollars for kids organizations is gratifying in itself, but when you see what it does for kids and these organizations, that’s what’s really exciting.”
But “Larry the Cable Guy” wasn’t the only celebrity that made an appearance in Rice Lake. The list included NFL Hall of Famers Paul Krause and Dave Robinson, Packer greats Lynn Dickey, Paul Coffman, and Willie Buchanon, and the voice of the green and gold Wayne Larrivee.
“You get a guy like “Larry the Cable Guy,” who gives up his time to come here, and he’s got a home in the area. But it’s so nice of him to be able to donate his time and be able to do this,” says Koser. “All these guys that come in here and play, they do it for the cause and for the camaraderie. It really helps put Rice Lake on the map, and it’s exciting, it really is.”